While I was outside walking the Pug, and cursing about the cold, I remember how much I loved days like this while I was growing up on Cape Cod. Aside from the insanity that children suffer from for not knowing how freakin’ cold it is outside, it took just three things to help me enjoy my days inside:
- An empty living room, with access to dad’s stereo (and it was an epic one at that)
- My Mister Microphone (I think I just aged myself with this sentence)
- Donna Summer’s Live in Central Park double album
The hours I would spent dancing around and singing my heart out to songs like “Bad Girls,” “Dim All the Light,” “Enough is Enough,” and my ultimate –
Oh my God – you just do not understand how much I loved this song when I was younger – it was THE song I had to sing while climbing on the furniture (sorry, mom and dad) and spinning in circles (sorry various pets we had at the time).
Donna Summer was just awesome to me – I can’t explain it, but my love for her and that beautiful voice stuck with me all through high school, college and then adulthood. Remember her song with Music Youth?
No shame in my game.
As an adult, I was fortunate enough to see Donna Summer live twice – at Wolf Trap National Park for the Arts (a DC area venue that is outside and just insanely beautiful). She came through to promote her now final album “Crayons” that was released in 2008. I cannot describe how much fun I had with my friend, Kisme, as we picnicked on the lawn and danced with the packed crowd – even in her late 50s her voice was crystal clear and she had the full attention of the crowd. No opening act (she started on time to the freakin’ second), no pyrotechnics, no unneeded extras – Ms. Donna owned that stage and gave everyone what we wanted. And, when she sand MacArthur Park (especially the first concert), I lost my mind – I was that 6/7/8 year old in her living room singing her heart out on that damn Mister Microphone (they really need to bring those back)
When she passed on 2012, I was truly heartbroken – she was my childhood, a connection to my late father (I have the Live in Central Park album that was his – even though it’s scratched to nothing), and I knew she had more of her to give us – her dedicated fans.
Over the years, I have heard various artists try to tackle a Donna Summer cover – and, truth be told, I have only heard one that made me nod my head and say, “yes.” That was Res’ On the Radio
Last month, us Donna fans FINALLY got a chance to keep celebrating in the clubs when Love to Love You Donna was released.
I’ll be honest, I had very high hopes for this album as it brought in House DJs from all over to remix Donna’s most popular songs. Maybe I’m a purest, maybe I’m fighting change…I don’t know. But, we need better.
With her induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame this year, I was hoping for some strong singers to step up and bring some OOMPH to the table – and give her music the respect it deserves. But then, like Luther Vandross, her voice is such that you listen to someone else trying to emulate her and it just doesn’t work (that’s why I love Res’ version, it’s Donna, but it’s still Res).
So, if you like Donna, just stay listening to her original stuff – get her VH-1 Live album and Endless Summer. You’ll enjoy the music and opportunity to dance around your living room like a 9-year old on a cold winter Saturday afternoon.